Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Earning money online

I'm no expert at this, but I do make a few bucks here and there by doing things online. Here are some of the ways I do it (all of these are Canadian-friendly!)

Get paid for your opinion - do surveys for money

Survey Savvy*. Paid surveys, usually a couple bucks for 10-15 minutes of your time. It's not even minimum wage, but if you're a good multi-tasker, you can watch a tv program and make a few dollars at the same time. Surveys are emailed to you, and payment is by cheque request.

Pinecone Research. This one is pretty exclusive - they only open it up to new members once in a while, so if you see an invitation (usually a banner ad: "The web sites that our banner ads may appear on are constantly changing during the course of the campaign.'), jump on it! I love Pinecone Research. It's $5 per survey (paid into your PayPal account or via cheque), and occasionally send out products as additional survey material (as in, you do an initial $5 survey, they may send you a product to try, and then you get another $5 for a follow up survey). I've received random things to test out and that's always pretty fun. I've been a member for over 10 years.

Survey Lion. Very similar to Survey Savvy, only a bit more frequent survey invitationss emailed to you. Amounts between $1 and $10 (rare) per survey. Payment is by cheque. They do have a referral program that is currently disabled - aw! But I can still recommend the site.

Product Promotion

BzzAgent. Honestly, I haven't been invited to a BzzCampaign in ages - but a few years ago I was in campaigns regularly and it was fabulous. I'm not sure if they got too big or I got too lax in keeping up with their surveys and such.  If you want to leave me your email address, I can send you an email to join - or just head to the site and sign up. They send out products and you are meant to "bzz" about them - sharing your experience via pretty much any method you can. I have received some really great products such as a high-end electric toothbrush, an epilator, teeth whitening kits and so on. There's no payment per se, other than the products you may be invited to try and promote.

Sponsored Tweets*. If you have a Twitter account and you don't mind posting the occasional ad, you can earn a few bucks with this one. You can set the amount you can charge per tweet (they will recommend an amount, but you can set it to whatever you like). You will receive opportunities and you can pick and choose what you would like to promote, or not. You also write the tweets (based on recommended information they provide). I find it a slow earner (over about two years I earned $56), but that will vary for everyone. Payment is via PayPal.

Swagbucks*. This one's relatively new (compared to the others I've mentioned - it's a few years old), and I know I've mentioned it here on my blog before. They used to be more fabulous, but it is still easy to earn and redeem. The reason I say "used to be" is that I could previously redeem for Starbucks cards which they would mail to me. Now they will only apply money to an existing, American Starbucks card. Last time I was in the States, I couldn't find a Starbucks that sold gift cards (?!) so I don't have an American one. I'm just hanging on to my Swagbucks until I finally get one. Anyway, that was my favourite redemption, but there are loads of other things you can redeem for including online coupons, PayPal cash and gift certificates as well as products they'll ship to you.  The good thing is that Swagbucks are easy to earn and seem to add up fast. I think the easiest way is using their search engine for random rewards, but you can also find codes, do surveys, polls, and more.

Do you have favourite sites for earning money online? Have you tried any of these ones? Or is it something you have never, or wouldn't consider?

* indicates a referral link. I'd be honoured (and grateful too!) if you decide to sign up using my link.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vegas, renovation and an unhappy owl.

I've been super busy the last little bit - no blog posts! Here's what I've been up to.

I spent a weekend in Las Vegas with some of my girlfriends. What a great place to go to get away!

It was my first time away from Mia, and I was pretty apprehensive about leaving her. She still nurses many times a day, so the first thing that happened to me was - a day of traveling and only hand-expressing in washrooms when I could catch a few minutes (I took my pump but couldn't use it the first day) - combined with wearing an actual bra rather than a nursing bra - and I came down with a FIERCE case of mastitis 12 hours into the trip. Wow, does that ever hurt.

So I headed to a clinic to get that sorted and lost a day of vacation and $200 in doctor's fees (how on earth do Americans afford health care???). One needle, a bottle of antibiotics, a long nap and lots of Tylenol later, I was about 80% better by the second night there.

I ended up having a great time, catching two (!) Cirque du Soleil shows (Ka and Zumanity) and losing ALL the money I gambled - all two dollars of it!

And I missed Mia like crazy, but it was so liberating to be off on my own.

The renovations are going as renovations go - one step forward, one step back. They are supposed to be done by November 1st, but that will never happen. They sanded down the hardwood floor, stained and varnished it - and did such a crap job that they are going to come back and redo the entire thing. That was two weeks of work right there, wasted. The varnish has such bad fumes that we had to go to a hotel once already. The only nearby hotel that accepts dogs is about $185 a night...

The tile that went into the bathroom was done with the wrong colour grout... that will need to come out and be redone as well. ARGH! It's so frustrating. The contractors are complete jerks about all this, too. They're never on site to supervise the trades, and when we tell them something has been done wrong (which has happened every single step of the way), they get mad at us.

The one guy has actually gotten into shouting matches with my husband and refused to speak with him for a few months. On Saturday he told me that "dealing with people is the worst part of his job". As far as I can see, as a construction site manager, that IS his job - dealing with the trades and being the liaison between the construction and the homeowners! And he doesn't even do it...! I can't tell you how frustrating the whole situation has been.

And, I decided, like a crazy woman, to make Mia's Hallowe'en costume. I did a tunic with feathers, and wings, and a mask - she's going to be an owl. It turned out really well! Only, she hates it. "All done! All done!" and crying. She won't even wear the mask and she usually loves masks. I must have spent 30+ hours on it and seriously was nearly in tears when she started throwing a fit about trying it on.